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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Student Government

SGA advocates for LGBT

Teaching fellows waited from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday for a meeting with president Renu Khator.  |  Shaimaa Eissa/The Daily Cougar

The Student Government Association in its first meeting of the 50th administration introduced, debated, voted and put into effect a bill advocating for LGBT rights.  | Mary Dahdouh/The Daily Cougar

The senate of the 50th administration has sworn in, is now in session and hopes to save campus resource centers.

The administration passed the Resolution in Opposition to Texas Senate Bill 1 Amendment Zedler-1 unanimously with only two abstains during their first senate meeting.

“Texas Representative Bill Zedler introduced an amendment to eliminate state funding for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Resource Centers like the one that created a safe space for me and my friends to come out,” Lee said. “The Zedler-1 Amendment would not only remove state funding for LGBT Resource Centers but would also eliminate state funding for women’s centers and all gender and sexuality centers at Texas universities.”

The bill is authored by political science senior Sen. Guillermo Lopez, junior CLASS Sen. James Lee and political science and liberal studies senior Sen. Yesenia Chavez.

Lee is also responsible for the “Get Off My Backpack” campaign which allows supporters to sign a petition to keep the at-risk resource centers available to students.

Students in the audience spoke to support the bill before any voting occurred, giving their personal experiences with how the resource centers have helped them. SGA President Cedric Bandoh spoke out in support as well.

“In 2011, they tried the same thing with a different technique,” Bandoh said. “They said universities must also provide funding for centers for traditional family values, and how do you define traditional family values?”

“The resource centers play a key role here on campus. Let’s pass this and send it to my desk, so I can sign it,” he said.

Although this was the first reading of the resolution, the senate voted to discharge the rules for the resolution to allow voting because the Zedler Amendment will be up for vote today in the Texas Senate.

Those interested in pledging their support to save the resource centers can sign the “Get Off My Backpack” petition at

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